Tianming's end goal was the liberation of the captives from all four cities, so he needed all the time he could get. "Let's hope I make it in time."
He took a deep breath and left as fast as he could. "Once the captives are all rescued, I'll go back to Tianming City and fight our foes to the death!"
Soon, he reached Liuyun City. What surprised him was that there were more than four hundred captives trying to leave the city. Leading the charge were some ten folks, killing as many as they could to make way. It was plain to see they were peak elites who could force the hundred thousand enemy troops away.
"Who are these?" Tianming immediately went to them.
"Imperial Son? Why are you here?"
They were glad to see him. Tianming looked closer and saw that it was Xuanyuan Yuheng's father, Xuanyuan Xiao. He was leading a group of ten or so second-origin tribulation elders.
"Most of the enemies have headed to Tianming City and are preparing for a siege. I snuck away to see if I can save some captives. I already liberated Fufeng City."
"Is that true? Our house king read the reports and said they’re congregating their forces at Tianming City. It's predicted that Ghoul King Si Ling will make corpse puppets, so we sent a team here to see if we can rescue some people," Xuanyuan Xiao said.
"That's right. Fufeng City is the closest to Tianming City. Isn't the ghoul king there?"
"You might not believe it, but I killed the lifebound beast the ghoul king uses to make corpse puppets. It was a nightmare soulworm and it had a terrifying ability, but its body was actually pretty weak," Tianming said.
Their mouths hung agape at the news, but they were actually more or less used to hearing about ridiculous feats like that from Tianming.
Xuanyuan Xiao immediately calmed down and said, "Word from Fufeng City and here will spread quickly. We don't have much time. Let's act separately! You should go to Linyu City while we head to Guiyang City!"
With them here, Tianming's job was much easier and he felt much less pressure.
"Imperial Son, if it works out, come back to Taiji Peak Lake with us. Tianming City is far too dangerous," Xuanyuan Xiao offered.
"There's no need!" Tianming immediately left without turning back.
"The enemy will continue sending reinforcements. Once Tianming City falls, not even Jian Wuyi and the rest will be able to escape."
"The imperial son is taking too huge a risk."
"Our forces number too few. The only thing we can do is to fight to the death at Taiji Peak Lake."
"Let's hope Tianming City continues to hold."
Before the war began, Fang Taiqing had wanted to clear out the southern cities and evacuate the residents northward. However, too many people were unwilling to leave their homes behind. Either way, the enemies would be marching north, so why couldn't their stronghold be a city with a Sun-Moon-Star Formation? As Taiji Peak Lake couldn't accommodate all those people, places like Tianming City were required as the vanguard of the resistance forces.
"Anyone that dares invade our homes will die!"
As for Taiji Peak Lake, they made sure to send reinforcements to Tianming City, as well as others like Xuanyuan Xiao to rescue the captives. They hadn't given up on those cities after all. Now more than ever, defending their land held even more significance than before.
Back outside Tianming City, someone came to make a report. His expression was completely languid. The four ghoul kings were gathered together and discussing war plans.
"What is going on?"
"Ghoul Kings, Li Tianming showed up at Fufeng City, killed thousands, and saved all six million captives. They're now on the run to the north."
"Impossible. I saw him enter Tianming City. He couldn't have left," Si Ling said.
"Ghoul King, I personally saw him there with three lifebound beasts, missing only for his fierce tiger beast!"
"Fierce tiger?" Si Ling's expression immediately sank. "He didn't go back at all?! We've been messed with yet again!"
Being toyed with by a brat felt worse than being force fed feces.
"That child is impossible to catch, just like when he was in the Kilostar Domain. Next time we meet, we have to work together to instantly kill him. We can't afford to give him any chances," You Ying said. She’d had a chance to assassinate Tianming back at the Kilostar Domain, but it didn't work because the Prime Tower got in the way. It left a real deep impression on her.
"He's hard to kill, like a cockroach." Si Ling let her rage simmer even more.
"Report!" Someone else brought news to them.
"Liuyun City is being attacked by Xuanyuan Xiao. They’re taking on the forces left to defend the city! As they number too few, they might not be able to hold on for long. The captives must’ve been liberated by now. Ghoul Kings, please understand that the captives aren't helpless and can also fight back."
"That leaves only Linyu and Guiyang then," Si Ling said.
"That is the case."
"Have the captives in those two cities killed. Leave not a single one alive. If Li Tianming and the rest don't act quickly enough, I'll show them what hell looks like!" Si Ling said.
"Aren’t we going there to stop them? Even though there’s two cities, we have more than enough people to split some off," You Ying said.
"No. I've learned that chasing him down is the same as being led around by the nose. It's better to make a trap here and lure him in."
"Our forces are now six times their number. The heartscourge fiend and skyscourge bloodfiend sent word that they’ll be coming to Tianming City to help us. Once they arrive, we’ll attack the city. Even if Jian Wuyi and the others are able to escape, we'll massacre everyone that remains! We will not let a single one of the ten million citizens live! The people here are worth far more than the other cities. Li Tianming's goal is to save lives, right? I won't bother making corpse puppets any longer. I'll go straight for the kill. We'll see if he comes to save them! We won't have to worry about him returning to Taiji Peak Lake alone if that's the case."
Their greatest fear was for Tianming to escape again.
"This fellow has killed countless people, so I thought he'd be more coldblooded than that. I didn't think he'd be the kind to play hero of justice," Lan Yi said. That was a huge weakness as far as he was concerned.
"That's right. Last time, he even lost the Kilostar Photondragon to save Yi Xingyin. We should've known long ago that we could just use the captives to force that brat to die. It's a huge waste."
"It's fine. The people within Tianming City are far more important to him."
"I'm serious. we shouldn't look at him like a brat any longer. Since he left the Kilostar Domain, he even killed the five wraiths. Who knows if he'll eclipse us in strength half a month from now?"
"I feel like thinning out their tribulation elders during the siege should be our second priority. Our first is forcing Li Tianming to his death."
They had reached a consensus.
"Enough talking. The two beasts will arrive soon, in four more hours at most. Let's prepare for the attack!" Si Ling said.
"Alright. The beasts wanted to act when we reached Taiji Peak Lake, but they couldn't stop themselves from coming after hearing that Li Tianming was here. Since my big brother is gone, I'll let Tianming City taste the wrath of his beasts!"
"It's about time this puny city fell. Otherwise, those of us from Nonahall will lose out to Biritual!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter